- Criminal Defense 60%
- Civil Litigation 40%
John is an experienced trial attorney and partner at HPS Law Firm. John practices in all areas of litigation, including personal injury, and particularly enjoys criminal defense. John practices in both federal and state court. John also has extensive experience as an appellate attorney, and has argued before the South Dakota Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
John grew up on a farm in northeast South Dakota, and graduated from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 2000. After law school, John served as a judicial clerk in Minnesota. In 2001, John returned to South Dakota and worked as a trial attorney for the Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office until 2007, which provided him with extensive courtroom and trial experience. While with the Public Defender's Office, he tried more than two dozen jury trials to verdict, ranging from DUI to murder.
From 2007-2016, John served as a Magistrate Judge for South Dakota's 2nd Judicial Circuit, presiding over criminal and civil matters, and dozens of criminal and civil jury trials. During that time he also proudly chaired the Minnehaha County Veterans Treatment Court Team, which established the second Veterans Treatment Court in South Dakota. In 2013, the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association awarded John the Toast of the Trial Lawyers Award for his work as a judge.
John practices in all areas of litigation. He also specializes in criminal defense ranging from petty misdemeanors to first degree murder.
John is a member of the South Dakota Committee for the Great North Innocence Project, an organization that works to free the wrongfully convicted and prevent wrongful convictions from occurring in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. John serves on the selection committee for the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Southern Division of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota. John is a member of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
John is currently a member of the board of directors of Southeastern Behavioral Healthcare, the largest community mental health care provider in South Dakota. John is a former member of the board of directors of Feeding South Dakota, South Dakota's largest hunger relief organization; a former member of the Minnehaha County Veterans Treatment Court Advisory Committee; and a former member of the Minnehaha County Pre-trial Reform Work Group.
John and his wife, Amy, live in Sioux Falls with their sons, Jack and Dylan.
John's e-mail address is [email protected]. John can also be reached by calling the law firm directly.
- University of South Dakota School of Law, Vermillion, South Dakota
- J.D. - 2000
- University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota
- B.S. - 1997
- Honors: With High Honors
- Major: History, Political Science
- South Dakota, 2001
- U.S. District Court District of South Dakota, 2016
- U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 2019
- South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, 2016 to Present
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2016 to Present
- South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2016 to Present
- South Dakota Judges Association, 2007 to 2016
- Toast of the Trial Lawyers Award, South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association
- Great North Innocence Project - South Dakota Committee, 2019 to Present
- Criminal Justice Act Panel for District of South Dakota, Southern Division - Committee Member, 2018 to Present
- Minnehaha County Public Defender’s Office, Asst. Public Defender, 2001 to 2007
- South Dakota’s 2nd Judicial Circuit, Magistrate Judge, 2007 to 2016
Classes & Seminars
- Criminal Prosecution and Defense, University of South Dakota, 2017 to 2017
Fraternities or Sororities
- Phi Kappa Alpha
Current Employment Position